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History of MOOT CORP Competition

Graduate Business Education in Entrepreneurship


The Entrepreneurship concentration in the MBA program is currently ranked #1 among American business schools by SUCCESS magazine. It provides a comprehensive approach to the entrepreneurial process, with particular emphasis on information and computer related technology. In addition to the MOOTCORP Competition, the entrepreneurship curriculum combines an integrated set of multidisciplinary courses with hands-on internships, access to the Austin Technology Incubator, and ties to other academic and business organizations, nationally and internationally, that are involved in entrepreneurship education.

In 1997 the business school faculty approved a strategic plan encompassing the objective that all Texas MBAs should have competency in entrepreneurship, information technology, and global prospective. The goal is to include entrepreneurial concepts and relevant methodologies in all core courses.

History of the MOOT CORP® Competition

In the early eighties, two Texas MBA students, Steven A. Mailman and Barbara Oppenheimer, were desiring a business school activity as challenging and prestigious as moot court in law school. They envisioned a competition in which MBAs working in teams would conceive the idea for a new business, develop the idea into a written business plan, and present the plan to panel of judges consisting of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and other entrepreneurial support professionals including accountants, lawyers, and management consultants. The first competition was in 1984 and involved only UT MBAs; the program was shepherded by Professor Kenneth E. Knight during this critical phase. Dr. George Kozmetsky and the RGK Foundation also played major roles in the survival of the Program during these early years.

In 1989, under the leadership of Professor Raymond W. Smilor, the MOOT CORP® Competition held its first national competition. MBA teams from Harvard, Wharton, Carnegie Mellon, Michigan and Purdue joined Texas in the competition. In 1990, the competition became international with the London Business School, Lyon Graduate School of Business (France), and Bond University (Australia) entering the competition.

Since becoming Director of MOOT CORP® Competition in September of 1992, Dr. Gary M. Cadenhead has transformed MOOT CORP® Competition into a global program, deepened and broadened the participation from American business schools, and formalized the sharing of ideas for improving entrepreneurship education among the participating faculty. A major strategy for broadening participation has been to invite the winners of other new venture competitions to participate in the MOOT CORP® Competition. Currently the winners of the competitions sponsored by The Chinese University of Hong Kong, the University of Georgia, the University of Indiana, San Diego State University, the University of Oregon, and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln receive invitations. The MOOT CORP® Competition now involves two annual competitions: the Texas Entrepreneurial Challenge in November, in which only UT-Austin teams compete, and the MOOT CORP® Competition in May, in which teams from around the world compete.

Globalization has led to increased competition and significant improvement in the quality of the business plans. Perhaps most importantly, the output has ceased to be moot. No longer are the business plans simply intellectual exercises; they have become the blueprints for real companies. An increasing number of participants are launching their ventures each year.

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